FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 1/26/20
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.
Let's break down today's main slate:
It is important to note the missing totals on FanDuel Sportsbook as we await news on several key players, such as Boston Celtics forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, and Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum.
Trae Young ($9,600): Chasing a one-game sample in daily fantasy can be a grave mistake. Writing off Trae Young because of a lackluster 19-point, 7-assist performance on January 10th against the Washington Wizards -- his foe tonight -- would be just that. Trae still has all the peripherals to succeed against the Wizards, as he is averaging 20.5 shots per game, and will fire them at a Wizards defense that has surrendered the most points and second-highest opponent field goal percentage in the league. That would explain why they have surrendered the most FanDuel points to point guards this year, and Young should add to that.
Elfrid Payton ($5,900): With RJ Barrett out due to an ankle injury, Elf Payton has taken control of the New York Knicks' offense. Even with only a 20.6% usage rate with Barrett off the floor, Payton spikes to 9.67 assists per 36 minutes as the main ball-handler. That has parlayed to 34.53 FanDuel points the last four games, and he takes that hot streak against the Brooklyn Nets, who have been atrocious against point guards, surrendering the fourth-most FanDuel points to the position.
Bradley Beal ($8,300): It took a few games for Beal to return to his normal role, but he's back to averaging 33.3 minutes per game over the last three. He has started to take command with it. Beal has averaged 34.3 points in those games, hoisting an average of 22.3 shots, as well. Beal's price still resides at only $8,300 despite the hefty usage (32.7% on the year) and scoring stats, and he should be the primary scoring option in this battle with the Atlanta Hawks' terrible defense, which is allowing the fourth-highest opponent field-goal percentage in the NBA.
Evan Fournier ($5,100): When Jonathan Isaac went down for the Orlando Magic, their rotation became slightly unstable, but one member of it who has a very defined role is Evan Fournier. He's averaging 33 minutes in January since Isaac went down on New Year's Day, and Fournier has really turned the corner in having that translate to the stat sheet, averaging 29.23 FanDuel points per game over his last four. He provides good value with a high floor because of his workload against a Clippers' defense that is surprisingly friendly to opposing shooting guards on FanDuel, giving up the ninth-most fantasy points.
Gordon Hayward ($6,000): There is a chance that both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum end up sitting Sunday against a weaker New Orleans Pelicans squad, but even if just one misses the game, Hayward vaults to the top of Celtics' scoring options alongside with Kemba Walker. However, at only $6,000, Hayward is much more affordable than the team's point guard, and he sits second on the team in usage with those two off the floor (27.1%). He's averaged 35.63 FanDuel points per game with one of the two out of the lineup the last four games and should be a safe bet against a mediocre Pelicans D, which is giving up the second-most points in the NBA.
Joe Harris ($3,900): The Nets' rotation is in flux, with Spencer Dinwiddie heading to bench on Saturday against the Detroit Pistons, but that may be good for Harris. Harris really has not lost minutes since Kyrie's return as he has averaged 30.6 minutes per game since then, and without Dinwiddie on the floor, Harris jumps to an average of 28.21 FanDuel points per game. That would explain his strong projection on numberFire as we currently have him at 23.4 points, projecting him to smashing value.
Domantas Sabonis ($8,400): When a player like Malcolm Brogdon is out, the first instinct for most fantasy players is rush to his replacement at point guard. But on the Indiana Pacers, the two players who lead the team in usage sans Brogdon are T.J. Warren (25.1%) and Sabonis (24.4%). The difference between those two -- and what makes Sabonis a much stronger fantasy asset -- is Sabonis couples that usage with 13.97 rebounds, as well. He will certainly be able to pile up both points and boards against a much smaller Carmelo Anthony and a Portland Trail Blazers team that has struggled against power forwards, giving up the sixth-most FanDuel points to the position.
Daniel Theis ($4,900): Knowing when to eat chalk can be a lifesaver in NBA daily fantasy. Going all contrarian in tournaments will be incredibly frustrating on a bankroll day-to-day. Daniel Theis as a chalk play is just an easy one to swallow as he will once again eat up a bulk of the minutes at center with Enes Kanter out due to a hip injury, and he has no clear opposition for rebounds with an unsettled power forward position, assuming Jayson Tatum sits. Theis is in prime position to smash value again at this price point as he did even in a blowout on Friday, amassing 30.2 FanDuel points.
Hassan Whiteside ($9,300): Hassan Whiteside is very much a feast-or-famine option in daily fantasy. In his last four games, he has scored more than 58 FanDuel points as many times (twice) as he has scored fewer than 29 FanDuel points (twice). The concern with Whiteside throughout his career has been minutes, and while Jusuf Nurkic has returned to practice, Nurkic will likely be out through the All-Star Break. So Whiteside still has little competition for minutes, and he is averaging 33.5 per game in the month of January. He continues to be a larger part of the offense in Portland than he ever was with the Miami Heat, sporting a career-high 20% usage rate and 1.2 assists per game.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.